High Points: A clean spring | AspenTimes.com

High Points: A clean spring

Paul E. Anna
High Points

“It feels kind of liberating,” said the old man as he took the old pair of Olin skis out of his old pickup truck this past week at the dump — or, rather, the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center Landfill and Recycling Center as it says on the new sign at the bottom of the hill on Highway 82.

He wasn’t just talking about tossing out a pair of skis. He had a whole truckload of residue from his past that he was taking out piece by piece and leaving for good. He was talking about the liberating feeling that comes from a spring clean.

Now, I’m no Marie Kondo, but I can relate to that liberating feeling that comes along with a clean each spring. This year I am a little late to the party as Memorial Day Weekend is upon us; the unofficial start of summer, as they call it. But my intentions are good. I plan on pulling a few weeds, washing a few windows, dusting some countertops and clearing out the files of a life gone by in my filing cabinets.

I might even get rid of a pair or two of ancient skis, though they are hard to part with, considering that in years past they brought me so much joy on the slopes. Even if I haven’t skied them in 15 years, I still love the look of my stainless steel Volant skis that I stripped the graphics off of and told anyone who asked that they were made by DeLorean. You have to be of a certain age to get either of those references. Scratch that. I’m keeping the Volants.

That’s the hard part about getting rid of stuff each spring. You are getting rid of memories with each pair of jeans you toss. As a writer I used to keep the things I wrote for papers and magazines and now they just take up space and clutter my office under a film of dust. Sure, I can find many of them online or even digitize those that are just bits of published paper with a quick photo and download them to an “Old Stuff” folder on my laptop. But it just don’t seem the same.

I’ll try and slim down the flotsam and jetsam of things that once seemed to be important, remember just about every story I ever wrote had a deadline in front of it and was, at least at the moment in time, important. But more likely I’ll use my spring clean time on the more visible tasks like the windows and desktops and floors in my house.

My favorite spring clean sound is that of the squeegee as it slides the water off the big windows in my house that frame the majestic mountain views. It takes very little muscle power, and I don’t get the results of a professional, but, especially this year, I can see a dramatic difference right away as the dirt and dust that we have had all spring cascades off the face of the glass. To me it just opens things up. And that in itself is liberating.

Oh, and speaking of liberating openings, today is the day when they open the gates at either end of Independence Pass. Now that’s a major spring clean!